Why It's Important To Get Your Water Tested

Water is vital to any agricultural operation. Livestock need to be given plenty to drink, crops need to be well irrigated if they're going to thrive and most fields need to be sprayed down on a regular basis. Most agricultural operations in Australia are drawing the water they use from a private water source—such as a well or a dugout. This is convenient and often good for sustainability, but it does mean that you can't be sure what your water contains. For the health of your animals, your plants and your profit margins, you need to make sure that you find that out—and here's why.

You need to be sure you're adhering to governmental water quality guidelines.

Every Australian state has its own guidelines and regulations for agricultural water quality, and you need to ensure that you're following them. If you aren't, you could face inspections, fines and perhaps even legal challenges.

Your livestock deserve to drink water that nourishes and does not harm them.

All animals need water to survive, and that water needs to be free of damaging impurities. Basic livestock water testing packages will test your water source for acidity, calcium, chlorides, iron, magnesium, nitrates, potassium, sodium, sulphates and what's known as 'total dissolved solids'—all of which are things you need to be able to monitor the level of in your livestock's diets.

Your crops need water free from certain substances to thrive.

Plants are just as dependent on good water as animals are, and your crops will benefit hugely from controlled levels of acidity, calcium, chlorides, magnesium, nitrates, potassium, sodium and sulphates. It's also useful to learn about the hardness of your water if you're using an automated irrigation system, as this will determine how often you need to deal with limescale buildup.

Your customers need to know there's nothing they're not expecting lurking inside their produce.

If you're part of the food chain that feeds the public, you have a duty of care to those people. You need to ensure that you're not passing anything nasty down to the people you supply, and having your water tested is an important part of that.

It needn't be a chore. There are companies all over Australia who offer professional water testing kits to agricultural setups—simply get in touch with your local provider today to ensure that you're doing everything you can for the health of your business.